Knitting in the New Year (2016)

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Season’s greetings! It may not be snowing in these parts just yet (not complaining), but it is snowing on my blog. I wish WordPress would let me keep that feature through the whole of winter. Makes things feel festive, you know?

Speaking of festive things, I’ve been thinking a lot about winter sewing and knitting. I really like the 3 Season Wardrobe Challenge (#3seasonwardrobechallenge) that Tasha of By Gum By Golly dreamt up this past fall. Her post really resonated with me, even though our winter has been pretty mild so far. Let’s see if that lasts…

In any case, I like that she didn’t set a deadline for herself; the challenge is more of a guide. That works for me. Knowing me I’ll definitely be sewing summer clothes. The humidity of a New York summer just doesn’t inspire me to sew with wool (!).

That challenge idea transitions well into the main focus of this post: knitting plans for 2016! Obviously, knitting is a much slower process than sewing, and I know I’ll never get through all of these projects in a year (or two or maybe even three). But I’m not sure what I’ll want to knit and when, so I’m highlighting some of the cold-weather patterns I’ve added to my “favorites” on Ravelry. Also, I love seeing what other bloggers find – gives me ideas!

Click on the image or the link below to go to the pattern page. All the pattern photos are from the designers and are credited.

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Fall Essentials Sew Along 2014

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Riding on the “yay, I’ve successfully made it through two group challenges this year!” wave, I’ve signed on for yet another: the Fall Essentials Sew Along (FESA) hosted by Sarah and Lisette.

Cold weather clothes have always been a struggle for me, even when I was buying them in stores. In my first few years of sewing I only wanted to sew summer sundresses, but in the past couple of years I’ve been – dare I say it – excited to fill some major gaps in my fall and winter wardrobe. What can I say, it just gets a little tiring to wear the same three cardigans to winterize most of my clothes!

I’m going to keep my FESA plan simple (even so, it’ll be interesting to see what I can get done by November 30th). I find that the following patterns are essentials that fit my lifestyle, which is certainly a motivator.

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MPB Day 2013 And All That Fabric

Yesterday was a great day in sewing land as ladies and even some gents came out for the third annual MPB (Male Pattern Boldness) Day. Even the weather cooperated. I attended the first MPB Day back in 2011, but missed last year’s because of a bachelorette party.

I didn’t get any photos, but Peter will be doing a recap of the day tomorrow so check out his blog for visuals and entertaining commentary! It was fun to see familiar faces and also meet new ones. There was Wanette of Sown Brooklyn, Clio of Clio & Phineas, Sonja of Ginger Makes, Vicki of Another Sewing Scientist, Suzanne of Beau Baby, and many, many others. I’m hoping to get a hold of the names of other bloggers in attendance!

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M6696 leading up to its MPB Day appearance!

I wore my latest creation, the McCall’s 6696 shirt dress. I will be blogging about that one soon! I can already tell it will be a TNT pattern.

After seeing the RetroSpective exhibit at FIT, we all gathered for lunch and a pattern swap (or “a pattern take” as Peter called it). I put in four patterns I just knew I was never going to make, including Colette’s Lady Grey coat. This actually worked out well because I had been eying Colette’s Chantilly dress for a while now and guess what pattern ended up in the pile?! Good times, good times.

A group of people went straight to Mood after lunch while the other half followed Peter to smaller shops on 39th Street. We checked out Chic Fabrics, Fabrics for Less, Paron’s, and AK Fabrics. I bought a red and black Buffalo check cotton flannel at AK (below), which is so super soft! I’ve been on the lookout for winter fabrics and had first contemplated this print a year or so ago, but I wasn’t sure if it would work as a dress. A vote of confidence from Peter convinced me to take this future dress to the check-out counter.

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MPB Day goodies – I guess I was in a red and black mood!

Next came Spandex House on 38th Street, and even though I’d been there during what I’m dubbing “Meg the Grand Day” I had no idea there was a HUGE second floor of more and more fabric! I had run off to Sil Thread quickly to pick up a zipper for a planned skirt and when I came back to Spandex House I thought I had lost the group. But then as I went upstairs they all magically appeared from the bolts and bolts of polyester.

Afterward we went to Mood where I picked up a couple of knits to make a couple of Sewaholic Renfrew tops (above). Our group was given a 10% discount and a free Mood tote bag. Victory! There were many great quotes from Male Pattern Boldness Day, but one of my favorites was when Sonja said someone from Mood asked if we were with “the balding men group.” Ha!

The day ended at the Kinokuniya Bookstore and then Bryant Park across the way where we all recounted the day and shared our fabric goodies. During your average day you might get asked, “Did you make that?” but with a group like this you get asked, “Is that the Colette Ceylon dress? I love that you matched the stripes!” Or “I knew you were part of the group because I recognized that fabric!” All in all, a great way to spend a beautiful Saturday in New York. Thanks Peter for the great day and I like your idea for a winter meet-up, though no pressure!

Oh, and we even met Charlotte, the founder/designer of By Hand London, who happened to be in the city this weekend with her beau! I haven’t made any of their patterns yet, but I’ve definitely seen them pop up in the blogosphere. Charlotte wore her Anna dress and seems like a super cool lady.

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Reality check.

And I’ll leave you with a little exercise in reality I completed today, courtesy of this paper ledger (am I a dork or what?!). I decided to write down all the fabric I have and their cost as a way of putting it to me plainly how much I’ve spent on fabric I have yet to use. I knew what I was in for but it definitely helps to see it all written down and added up (total = major yikes factor!). As the daughter of an accountant, you can bet your bippy it’ll be thrilling to move the costs to column 4 after finishing up a project.

I’m starting with a couple of pieces from my stash to make an outfit for the Sew Weekly Reunion. Are you joining in for the big September 1st reveal?

Hello, 1966! My Mad Men Faves

Saturday morning is one of my favorite times of the week, and I thought I’d take the time to share photos I took of some Mad Men fashions that caught my eye as I watched the entire 5th season on my TV. Yeah, photos of the TV – high tech, I know! These photos were taken as I was cutting out the pieces for my Purple/Blue Wrap Dress. 🙂

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I just love this dress that Joan wears (I noticed she wore it twice in season 5, can’t hide from me!). The color shows up better in the top photo, but I wanted to get both sides of the dress to see if I could one day recreate it. I think Gertie’s Wiggle Dress from her book would be a great match for this one, and Charlotte at Tuppence Ha’penny wrote a tutorial on how to draft your very own sailor collar. Helpful!

I also think the colorful tie peaking out of Joan’s collar is really cute. This would also be a nice project to try my hand at covered buttons and a lapped zipper, both of which I haven’t attempted yet.

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